Istanbul Otopark

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
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Trip End Nov 15, 2007


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Saturday, August 12, 2006

12.8.06
Otopark
Istanbul

Our sleep was largely undisturbed and we felt safe in the otopark in Istanbul. Although, Lou had to get up in the night to get a cat off his car roof. Lou had put his bag of rubbish on the roof away from the feral animals, but they are much smarter than he and could climb trees.
We leisurely put our gear away and left the otopark at 10am to drive to Ankara.
The names of the cities like Istanbul and Ankara encompass a large area of many suburbs so if you ask to go to Istanbul, you need to be more specific as it's like a small state on it's own. The scenery on the way changes many times beginning with thousands upon thousands of high rise apartment buildings all looking pretty much the same, although, to be fair, the ones closest to the heart of Istanbul were a little more individual.

There are many bush fire warning signs on the highways as there are large areas of pine trees. The landscape varies dramatically and there is a large area of white, sandy, hilly dessert between Istanbul and Ankara. There are some attempts to vegetate the area.

Driving into Ankara was relatively easy, on the broad scale of driving through the world that is. Ata Turk boulevard runs right through the centre of the capital and we had driven nearly all of it before we found a place to stay. We asked the Park Hotel attendant if we could buy a night's stay in our vehicles in the car park. This was agreed and the charge would be 15YTL which is almost $15AUS. Our dollar is worth just a bit more. When we drove around to the undercover car park we discovered that our vehicle was too high so Des made a management decision to stay overnight in the hotel, Yippee!!!

Lou and Lynn decided not to stay in the hotel, so they lived with us in our beautiful, large, cool room for 2 days. We showered, bathed, washed all our clothes and watched television to catch up with some world and local news. Lou and Lynn wanted the privacy of sleeping in their own car, so they returned to the car park at night which was very hot, even under cover.

There is an army barracks next to the hotel which takes up a huge amount of land. We watched the sentries standing guard and the recruits doing laps in full kit and felt sorry for them all as it was over 40 degrees. Even the breeze was hot and only served to dry up one's sweat. The young men are fortunate that the army provides further education for them, during their 2 year term of conscription, which will be helpful in their working lives.

We had a lovely time luxuriating in the hotel, swimming in the pool, enjoying buffet lunches and cooked breakfasts. It gave me a chance to have a look at this pod document too and bring it up to date as far as Istanbul. But all too soon the life of luxury was over and we resumed our journey.
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